01/17/2015 3:57PM

Weekend Hideaway regains form in Sunshine Millions Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Javier Castellano guides Weekend Hideaway to a four-length victory in the Sunshine Millions Sprint.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Phil Serpe came to Gulfstream Park in time for the holidays, with Weekend Hideaway in tow. Their Christmas present came late, but the wait was worth it.

When the Florida Sunshine Millions races on Saturday were widened from being exclusively for Florida-breds to also include horses bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Weekend Hideaway’s home state of New York, it opened a possibility not originally expected for the winter. It turned out to be a gift-wrapped present for Weekend Hideaway, who crushed six rivals, all Florida-breds, in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint.

 Weekend Hideaway ($12.20), the race’s third choice, got an ideal stalking trip from his outside post. He was lapped on 4-5 favorite Happy My Way for the first half-mile of the six-furlong race, disposed of Happy My Way entering the lane, and drew off with authority for a four-length victory.

 Grande Shores, the 5-2 second choice, rallied up the rail to get second, with Happy My Way fading to third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Grande Shores. Brothersofthetime was fourth and was followed, in order, by Puntrooskie, Sam Sparkle, and Yogi Berra.

 With Javier Castellano up, Weekend Hideaway completed the distance on the fast main track in 1:08.64.

“We were looking for a spot when this race came up,” said Serpe, who trains Weekend Hideaway for the Red and Black Stable. “He had been working well. This was a good spot. We were very happy when the race opened up to other statebred horses.”

 Weekend Hideaway had lost three straight races prior to Saturday. Serpe said he regressed after running in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga in August, the first of those three losses.

 “He went backwards after that race at Saratoga,” he said. “I’m happy he ran well today.”

The victory was the seventh in 20 lifetime starts for Weekend Hideaway, a 5-year-old son of Speightstown. His biggest win last year came in the John Morrissey for New York-breds at Saratoga, his start prior to the Forego.